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Posted on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

More bitter cold, snow ahead for Ann Arbor area

By Cindy Heflin


A pedestrian tries to stay warm on Liberty Street near the post office in downtown Ann Arbor Tuesday morning.

Melanie Maxwell |

With the temperature hovering near zero Tuesday morning, Jill Carlson was hustling along Main Street in Ann Arbor on her way to a class at the University of Michigan.

“It’s very cold,” she said. To blunt the effect of wind that made below-zero temperatures feel even worse, she bent her head downward as she walked. “I’m just hoping I won’t run into anything,” she said.

Carlson had plenty of time to feel the effect of temperatures that dipped to 7 below zero in some parts of Ann Arbor Tuesday morning on her 30-minute walk to campus, where she is a graduate student in the School of Natural Resources.

University of Michigan weather observer Dennis Kahlbaum recorded a temperature of 3 below at 7 a.m. at his weather station on North Campus Tuesday morning, nowhere near the record of 19 below zero for this date, set in 1883. He said the temperature might have dipped a bit lower than 3 below after 7 a.m. A temperature of 7 below was recorded at the Ann Arbor Airport on the southeast side of the city. Saline recorded a temperature of 10 below, he said.

By 1 p.m., the temperature had climbed to 6 degrees at the Ann Arbor Airport, but with the wind-chill factored in, it felt like 8 below zero. A wind-chill advisory in effect for the morning expired at 1, but the forecast for the rest of the day in the Ann Arbor area still called for wind-chill values as low as 10 below zero and a high of about 9 degrees. Snow showers are possible, too.

Tuesday night, there’s a chance of snow showers before 8 p.m., then a chance for flurries, and then a chance of snow showers again after 5 a.m. It will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. Wind chill values will be as low as 9 below zero.

It will be mostly cloudy with a high of about 18 Wednesday, but winds will make it feel as cold as 9 below zero. Snow showers are likely. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent, but snow accumulation should be less than 1 inch, the National Weather Service said.

Wednesday night, the low will dip to about 4 degrees, the National Weather Service said. But the wind will still be a factor, pushing wind-chill values as low as minus 7. West wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

Thursday, it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 20. Winds will die down.

Snow is back in the forecast Thursday night with a possible accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Another inch could fall Friday, the weather service said. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Whatever the weather, Carlson will take it in stride. Tuesday she had suited up with leggings, two pairs of socks, a shirt, sweater and jacket, plus a hat and gloves.

“I like the snow,” she said. “I only recently moved to Ann Arbor, so I guess maybe I’m just trying to embrace it.”

For updated forecasts and conditions any time, check's weather page.


Geoff Larcom

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

The fact that Sarah, with "Cuddle alert" tops the rankings for this story's comments is a heartwarming development. Gentle, wise readers are we.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Lordy, Lordy, I declare, bless my winter underwear!


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 10:31 a.m.

Yes! Global warming is now here. Just ask Al Gore or Obama.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

Well, Itchy, where are your citations? Actually, it's the other way around. Oil companies are spending a lot of money to publish incorrect or misinterpretations of data about climate change. Some of their primary "experts" have no background in climatology, such as Frederick Seitz, a physicist who gained notoriety as consultant to the tobacco industry to cast doubt on the negative health effects of cigarettes. So now the oil industry uses him to cast doubt on climate change. That's who I want telling me what's true about the climate. Not. Everytime climate deniers demand evidence, and the meteorologists give it to them, the deniers raise the bar and say "it's not good enough we want more data". They'll probably still be saying that when the polar caps have melted and the oceans have risen.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

I believe it has been reported that world organizations have been fiddling with the climate data and there are no facts to support global warming. In fact, I believe it has been stated that what data we do have does not cover for the period of time that our world cycles through climate changes. We will need many more years of data before an accurate prediction can be made. All I know is, it is quite cold outside and Al Gore is counting his money from the sales of his broadcasting network. Who knows what Obama is chasing other than to shut down the coal industry.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Look at you two with your "facts" and "data". Don't you know that it is cold outside and that Obama is a Marxist? Therefore, no global warming. Checkmate.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

Indeed. While it is cold here, on Monday more record HIGH temperatures were set in the US than record lows. ( And all 12 years of the 21st centurn rank among the 14 hottest years in the last 130 years. (


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Did you know that this "cold" spell is pretty mild compared to years gone by and on the whole all of our weather is warmer all the time? Remember 102o last summer and be ready for lots more this year. Al Gore made it his business to understand global warming but trying to get uninformed people to believe it is a job for a miracle worker.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:52 a.m.

The Polar Vortex (a naturally occurring phenomenon) has become unusually weak. This means it functions less like a low pressure zone over the North Pole, allowing the cold arctic air to "sag" southward. But the bad news is, the long-term forecast is for lower temps right into April. I've not see comparative figures for snowfall to date, I'm under the impression that we've been getting less than normal amounts of snow (precip). This may mean another hot, dry summer. But be happy: Michigan may turn out to be a unique combination of Alberta, Canada in the winter and Southern Arizona in the summer. ;-)

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 8:37 a.m.

I wouldn't worry about it. I know the media likes to scare people with crazy claims about the rate of warming. In 2011, which was one of the warmest years on record, the average temperature for the year was 51.1 in Detroit. In 1881, one of the earliest years for which there was data, it was also 51.1 in Detroit for the year. We need an Al Gore hockey stick to get even one tenth of the way to southern Arizona, and, so far, we have only a tiny bit of warming - certainly nothing that would even amount to "climate change." Keep in mind the cultists out there will do anything to score a point - even claiming that it used to be 14 degrees cooler in January than it really was so it seems a lot warmer in comparison.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 3:46 a.m.

Why does it seem like winter lasts 10 times longer than summer? Oh how I hate winter.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

What are you talking about?? This past summer began in May and ended around the end of October!!

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Why must the cold always be bitter? We live in Michigan. Why can't we just accept it and be happy?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

A good pair of thermal underware make so much differnce! Not the old waffle kind, the modern kind (polyester, I think). They make you so much warmer when it is cold, and they really don't seem to overheat you when indoors. Just make sure you don't stretch'em out, because then they don't fit or work nearly as well.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Nicholas, too right!! it is what it is!! put on your thermal undies and Deal With It!!


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

It's really not that cold, and it's been a very warm (and dry) winter so far. A little mean-reversion isn't so bad. Our normal high for this date is around 26, normal low 8, so these temps aren't that much below normal. OTOH, we're over 300 heating degree days below normal this season so far. We'd have to be about this much colder than normal the rest of the winter to catch up to a normal winter's cold. Too bad that 20" turned into only 2" though! I'd be in heaven with 20" of snow and temps cold enough to keep it.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Actually, I wasn't insulting you, KJMClark, I was saying I would not respond to your insult. But, no, the NWS data is not a monthly average. It's an average of the last 30 years for a specific day. I know you have an agenda, and the outlying data from the Ann Arbor Weather Underground user supports it, but it just doesn't make logical sense. I don't see why posting certified numbers from the National Weather Service doesn't constitute backing up my argument. It's not like you can't find them yourself. I took the trouble to look at the Weather Underground data.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

Detroit's daily and monthly averages are a few degrees warmer than Ann Arbor.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

KJM, Anyone who follows any of the local news and weathercasts should be aware that they often give the Detroit daily normal high and low. The source is from the National Weather Service local office at White Lake. You can easilly look it up on their web site. The climate link is on a column on the left hand part of the screen. That data actually comes from the Nation Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Ashville NC which is the climatic division branch of NOAA. I honestly do not know where the Underground folks got 26 and 8 for Ann Arbor. I can send them an email about it. Lots of that data is streamed in from a variety of sources and is not "scrubbed". I hope this helps, just trying to be informative.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

So - you don't really know, - you're not going to bother looking it up, - you're sticking with what is clearly a monthly average (labelled that way by NOAA), - you attempt to trash the source by hearsay, and - you quickly resort to insults. I appreciate your consistency Macabre!

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

The average over the last 30 years for Detroit for January 22 is 32 and 19. There's very little day-to-day fluctuation when you take larger chunks of time as an average. The coldest daily mean is 25, and January 12-27 tie for that mark. You are claiming a daily mean of 17, which you wouldn't find in this climate at any time. I can't tell you why the Weather Underground has what appears to be a mistake. Their Detroit average for the date is 33-22, which is more in line with the certified NOIA data. If you want to convince me that Ann Arbor is, on average, 14 degrees cooler than Detroit and 8 degrees cooler than Lansing this time of year, I think the ball's in your court (I'll save the snottiness related to your lack of understanding of how statistics work for another time). I don't regularly use the Weather Underground because I've heard from many people it's a little too reliant on individuals. This problem with what they're publishing may be another symptom. Who knows.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 3:53 a.m.

somebody file a FOIA on everyone involved and figure this out, because it's killing me!!!


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

Macabre, LC, & MRunner, you may be right, but I certainly have no reason to believe you when a highly regarded national weather service says otherwise. Please provide a link to back yourselves up. Macabre, those are the average highs/lows for the *month*. We're talking about a particular date. You get the difference, right? LC, you're quoting the same monthly averages that Macabre is. Come on people - *monthly* average vs. approximately coldest *day*. Geez. & your link goes to a 404 error on the NWS page. Try again. MRunner, are you sure *you* aren't looking at monthly averages too??


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

The Weather Underground's climate data is bad. There are no single digit normal lows across any part of Southern Lower Michigan. Big Rapids (West-central Lower MI) would be the closest with a single digit normal low in January. The low of -1 at Detroit this morning was the coldest in almost two years.

L. C. Burgundy

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 11 p.m.

KARB's records on Weather Underground are corrupt and/or incorrect and have been for some time. They cannot be relied upon for climate information, heating degree days, etc. 26 HI/8 LO are absolutely not the long term climactic averages for this area. More reliable records are here: 32 HI /19 LO are the 1980-2010 averages.

Kent Jocque

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 10:24 p.m.

KJMClark is right and Macabre Sunset is wrong about the average high and low temperatures in Ann Arbor for January 22, according to this page -Kent

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

The normal low is not 8. January is the coldest month on average. According to the National Weather Service, the average high in January in Detroit is 32.0, the low 19.1. Going up to Flint, that's 29.6 and 15.3. We're getting a good cold blast this week. We usually get a couple of these a year. The record high in Detroit for January 22 was 62, set in 1906. The record low was -10, set in 1970.


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

It's global warming.

Top Cat

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

The time of winter when the snow beneath your feet goes "crunch."


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Cuddle alert!


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

Celsius would make this story much more dramatic.


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

And yet there were still kids without hats on walking to (elementary) school today!

cutie pie

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

Wearing a hat may not prevent an illness but it will prevent your ears from freezing in these cold temps! My ears start hurting after awhile without a hat on in this kind of weather.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

CLX, if it's any help, Bach Elementary, where I work as a noon-hour supervisor, kept the kids in yesterday(Tuesday)and will do so today. we do what we can. BTW, a shout-out to the principal here. Ms. Bruder, YOU ROCK!


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Actually, more recent studies have shown that cold weather does cause the flu in many indirect ways. The counterintuitive scientific stance is being shown to be the old wives tale.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 4:55 a.m.

Sorry, hats do not prevent any illness, but keeping an already sick child home will. People going to school, work or any public place while still ill is why there are flu outbreaks. No amount of hats will stop that.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 12:18 a.m.

Viruses do not fall from the sky.


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

Parents may bundle em, but they still take em off. Go figure. I heard 17 below this morning. Another 5 and we could have had a snow day. Darn.

Kent Jocque

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

"it is not the cold weather that causes the cold,"


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

And when they get ill, they spread their germs on to others, ugh


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

"It's very cold...I'm just hoping I won't run into anything." Nice quote. Hopefully it warms up soon, so that she can see again!

Ricardo Queso

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Sounded like a Chuck Gadica forecast!


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

From my recollection, yesterday and today are statistically on average the coldest days of the year.

Valerie Haeussler

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Is that anticipated range of snow of 1 to 20 inches accurate? or do you really mean to say 1 to 2 inches?


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Cindy? Put that zero back. I want a snow day times 2. Like the olden days.

Cindy Heflin

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

That was a stray zero. It's been removed. One to 2 inches is correct.


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

20" of snow OH MY!!!